Staff Reporter

Awareness programme on epilepsy organised for literacy campaign workers

  • All hysterical behaviour should not be branded as epilepsy
  • Seizures can be kept under control using modern medicines

    Thiruvananthapuram: Epilepsy is not a disease to be ashamed of and hidden from others, instead it should be treated as a common chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension, neurologists and paediatricians have pointed out.

    At an awareness programme on epilepsy organised here on Wednesday, for literacy campaign workers and parents of children with epilepsy, doctors said that more than seizures, it is the accompanying psycho-social and behavioural problems that have a negative effect on people with epilepsy.

    The discussion was organised by the Department of Paediatric Neurology at SAT Hospital and the district branch of Indian Academy of Paediatrics.

    The District Literacy Mission and the Paediatric Neurology department are jointly organising a year-long awareness programme on epilepsy at panchayat, block-levels.

    Even though epilepsy is a disease, which can be treated well and the seizures kept well under control through modern medicines, lot of superstitions and myths associated with the disease continue to hamper its proper management, they said.

    All kind of seizures or hysterical behaviour should not be classified as epilepsy. It is very important that the exact details of the symptoms are conveyed to the doctor and a proper diagnosis sought, before starting treatment.

    The disease requires continuous medication, often for a lifetime. But most people tend to discontinue the drugs once the frequency of seizures come down, aggravating the problem later.

    Doctors advised parents that children with epilepsy be treated as normal children. They should not be branded `chronically ill' and treated with kid gloves, which only makes the children more anxious, diffident and depressed that they are different from others.

    Such misguided pampering by parents and teachers will only serve to aggravate the behavioural and personality problems in children, which require more careful management than seizure-attacks, doctors said.

    Rather than hiding the disease, families should be encouraged to discuss epilepsy in the open, in order to dispel the general fear among people.

    Teachers and school authorities should be informed about a child's epileptic fits, with clear guidelines on how seizures can be managed.